Job creation: FG to tap bio-resource advantages ― Agba

Federal Government said on Thursday that it will take advantage of its huge bio-resource in creating massive employment and wealth.

Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba said Nigeria will deploy its bioeconomic potentials to stem the tide of low economic growth, low investment and foreign capital flows, high rates of unemployment and incidence of poverty.

Speaking in a keynote address at the opening of a two-day national workshop on Creating Sustainable Bio-Economy in Nigeria which opened in Abuja, he said tapping the benefits of bio-resources alone was capable of achieving half of the 17-point Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Bio-resources like aquatic weeds, algae, municipal wastes and agricultural residues under the bio-economy strategy are harvested using advances in technology to create new products, which will help us to improve the quality of life”, Agba said.

According to him, Although Nigeria exited recession several years ago, it was still witnessing fragile growth in addition to the challenge of inadequate revenue due to a narrow revenue base.

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“Arising from the above, diversification of both the economy and revenue bases becomes critical and of immediate importance”, he continued.

Agba explained that report of the workshop would help shape the next phase of Nigeria’s medium-term economic strategy to be launched in 2021 since the current Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) launched in 2017 would lapse in December this year.

“The creation of the bio-economy which covers all the economic sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, building and construction, power and energy, transportation, health and education, mining and water will require creating new products and markets that will enhance the growth of the economy thereby promoting its diversification.”

He noted that the preparation of the National Bio-Economy Strategic Framework would be a collaboration between the public and private sector including the research community and development partners.

Earlier in his welcome address, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Ernest Umakhide had reminded his audience that to achieve economic diversification through bio-economy, every stakeholder must agree that it was possible and agree on a strategy.

Stakeholders at the workshop include the federal ministry of agriculture, ECOWAS Secretariat, international NGOs, research institutes and others.

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